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The old days ..

Yes, [sigh], nothing can beat those old horse days in Sunny Hills and Golden Hill, especially Golden Hills. The trail, or some called it the gully .. clop clop clop of horses and riders coming .. "Hi, Jackie! Hi, Carol! Hi, Candy!" .. The pleasant smells associated with horses and stables .. sage .. pepper tree seeds falling .. palm trees in the distance .. all the parents were young .. the kids were all young .. the sunlight there seemed mild and beautiful shades of gold and pale yellow .. economy good .. nice cars .. beautiful lawns and trees and shrubs .. light traffic .. kids waving from cars .. romance .. ice cold beer . barbecues .. sparkling swimming pools .. horse shoe games .. clank! clank! .. guests coming over for cocktails and a nice dinner .. maybe steak, baked potato, a fresh tossed salad .. laughter and warmth .. splashes from a pool .. pretty moms in nice, fresh cotton dresses with pretty sweaters ..or comfortanble slacks or even shorts .. men with their hair combed nicely, good haircuts .. neighbors who smiled and waved .. "Hi, Bob! Hi, Jane!" .. "Hello, Frank! Beat UCLA!" .. "Heading down to the beach?" .. "Yes, to the Balboa cottage!" .. kids playing and fishing at the lake .. quiet streets .. pretty big cars that shined in the sunshine .. dads who were business executives .. lawyers .. doctors .. surgeons .. stockbrokers ..auto dealership owners .. USC people .. Cal people .. Stanford people .. people from big universities and small colleges .. politeness .. courtesy ..   shopping at Model Market .. boxboys who helped the ladies pack away their brown shopping bags .. good cuts of meat at the market on North Richman by Ford School .. the homes with the graceful sloping front lawns .. gracious Valencia Mesa homes set back from the street .. rich green orange groves in the distance .. packinghouses .. people looked forward to a new movie for weeks .. the blue glow of a TV set screen through a window when you passed at night .. a few backyard incinerators left .. most of the dads had been in the army or navy or Marines or Air Corps in World War Two and maybe the Korean War, too .. new law practices .. dental practices .. medical practices .. a few babies and little tykes in families .. kids driving along with golf bags to play .. turntables and 33 RPM albums Mom and Dad played .. Tommy Dorsey .. Stan Kenton .. Glenn Miller ..  going all the way through school with some of the same friends .. some kids whose fathers were business partners .. getting dressed for church .. pro football games to watch afterwards at home with Dad .. Mom fixes a roast .. grandma and grandpa come by .. maybe aunts and uncles .. you run into your friends and classmates everywhere you go .. there are shortcuts all over Golden Hill and Rodeo and Valencia Mesa and Richman Knoll and Miramonte and Crestview .. neighborhood dogs and cats a lot of people recognize and know .. neighbors from Iowa, or Nebraska, or Minnesota, or Chicago, or the Bay Area .. lots of LA High School people .. dozens of USC people who knew each other there .. some Pasadena people .. Anaheim people .. Long Beach people .. Glendale people .. shopping at Bullocks, the Broadway, Buffums, JW Robinson's .. visits to the Palms, Arnold's Farm House, the Chicken Pie Place or sometimes Giovanni's .. shopping downtown at Wilkinson's Drugstore, Gifford's Stationery, the Pillory, Back Street, Thelma Moran's, Hassan's Florists, French Village ..  Frank's Bike Shop .. organizing trips to Disneyland or Knott's .. favorite spots at favorite beaches .. families who "caravan'd" to The River .. polio shots .. kids getting medical exams to play sports .. boys going to get fitted for mouthpieces to play football .. bright sunny mornings .. cool evenings .. jackrabbits in open areas .. Jimmy Smith's .. the graceful, dignified older homes through Golden Hill and to the south closer to downtown .. kids hiking down the old spur line to buy candy or see a movie or buy a new 45 RPM record at  the Turntable .. sliding down hills with cardboard sleds .. Kick the Can games .. Work-Up baseball games at Golden Hill or Ford School or even SHHS .. Over the Line .. basketball . touch or flag football . swimming and diving at polls or friends .. just dropping by to visit friends on the spur of the moment .. boys coming around to see girls .. shy talks on the porch .. "Wanna come in?" .. "Can you stay for dinner, Paul?" .. part of Fullerton but a slight distance away in feeling .. a deep feeling of safety .. hope for the future .. everybody will have jobs and careers .. older brothers and sisters who go to FUHS .. lots of parents who went to Ford and Fullerton High .. clothing fads .. new fads like Hula Hoops or Slinkys .. or pizza when it seemed kind of new .. Hillside .. memories never end .. and never die .. the spirit and the love are still in us .. 


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Rex Malott on November 17, 2021 at 9:52 PM said:

What a nice summary of that time in that place. I probably played five hundred hours a year at over the line and three flies up and remember how nice everyone was as we took over streets and fields to play. And the Turntable! Bought my first record there when I was 12-Hit the Road Jack-and my Dad was mad that I spent 95 cents on it!
Judy Scheid on July 3, 2018 at 2:42 PM said:

Good characterization. Add to this the tennis lessons and tournaments at JC, running around the barranca (off Richman Knoll) with friends, neighborhood co-ed baseball games, meeting at Corona Del Mar and Newport’s 15th street with friends and family, waterskiing on Newport’s Back Bay and the “River”. It was a time of prosperity and solid family life in Mayberry like Fullerton.
Ken Murray ‘64 on May 31, 2018 at 1:35 AM said:

Paul So beautifully stated. The Palms was my fav. I still have a menu! Lobster tail $3.50. So many fond memories of priceless times and friends My Greasepainter and Thespians hold a special place in my heart.
Tommy Kerr'67 on May 9, 2018 at 9:02 AM said:

Wow! Paul, that was amazing!! Perfect description. Used to love riding my horse in Hilcher park, or "the gulley ". I miss it. You brought back a ton of memories. we're we blessed or what? Great writing my friend!
Steve Lowe on May 9, 2018 at 6:40 AM said:

Really well done, thank you. We grew up in. a Paradise just by virtue of raw luck. Long before the hordes arrived with the strip centers. Horses at The Model Market. 4ateE7
Deborah Kramer on June 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM said:

That just about said it all
Candy Moore Gleason '66 on June 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM said:

I loved reading this, Paul. It brought back so many memories! My mother, Mary, is about to turn 86. I still can see her in the kitchen our our home on Richman Knoll or ironing when we got home from school (golden Hill) and watching American Bandstand. I was the oldest of four daughters. My dad worked in LA...he was in the meat business and founded his own company, Golden State Foods...a supplier to the newly emerging McDonald's restaurants. My sisters and I rode horses on the bridle trails and were involved in Fullerton Recreational riders. My mother was a brownie leader. It was such an innocent time. I still live in Fullerton and love it here. Paul, you do a wonderful job of keeping our memories vivid!
CHUCK BAILEY on June 17, 2012 at 1:07 PM said:

Anonymous on June 17, 2012 at 10:27 AM said:

Your recollections were/are so 'spot on.' I sincerely appreciated your thoughts. We did grow up in a very special era----------------and hold these memories so dear to our hearts.
Bob Kazebee '66 on June 17, 2012 at 9:54 AM said:

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

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Coming soon: the old days in West Fullerton. 

By the way, I've always thought of Fern Drive as the Old West of Golden Hill: roughly from Fern Drive on the North, Carhart on the west, Malvern on the south and Euclid on the east. Maybe below Buena Vista should be considered Golden Hill West. Don't ask me. - Paul